The Month in Motor Sport
Sep 14: John Gray sets a new course record at Brighton Speed Trials in his Pilbeam MP58. Despite losing a sidepod during a run, his time was 14.48sec over the half-mile — a terminal speed of 181mph. Other new class records fall to Anthony Mayman (ERA): 18.91sec, 139mph; Phil Cook (Jedi Gamma): 20.44sec, 120mph; Clive Harris (Ralt RT4): 17.65sec, 148mph. Fastest Lady: Amanda George (Ensign): 19.62sec, 131mph.
Sep 17: Jordan confirms that Alessandro Zanardi is to drive in the final three Grands Prix of the year, replacing Roberto Moreno, who had filled the ex-Gachot/Schumacher seat for two races.
Sep 19: Max Mosley confirms that he will challenge Jean-Marie Balestre for the FISA Presidency.
Sep 20: Timo Salonen loses his third place on the 1000 Lakes Rally. The Mitsubishi driver is excluded for fuel irregularities.
Sep 20: François Delecour is known to be negotiating with Lancia about a works rally drive for 1992.
Sep 21: Olivier Grouillard — a Marlboro driver — attends a Camel dinner with the French press. Fondmetal owner Gabriele Rumi is not best pleased. Grouillard’s future with the team looks shaky.
Sep 22: Nigel Mansell dominates the Portuguese GP until his disastrous pit stop. Leaving the pits with only three wheels secure, he eventually rejoins the race and charges up to sixth place — only to be black-flagged for having his car serviced in the wrong part of the pit lane. Ayrton Senna finishes second to Riccardo Patrese, and looks sure to win a third World Championship.
Sep 22: The European F3000 Championship goes down to the wire. As Pacific team-mate Antonio Tamburini wins at a sodden Le Mans, Christian Fittipaldi finishes second and takes a two-point series lead with one race left. Alessandro Zanardi and Emanuele Naspetti both retire.
Sep 22: Michael Andretti takes the lead in the CART points standings with victory at Road America.
Sep 22: Chaos at Thruxton. As Steve Soper romps to victory in the penultimate BTCC round, title aspirant Will Hoy clashes with fellow BMW driver Jonathan Palmer, leaving Vauxhall’s John Cleland with a chance of stealing the crown.
Sep 22: Fredrik Ekblom wins his third consecutive British F3000 race. The Swede is now the only man who can overhaul the late Paul Warwick’s points tally.
Sep 22: Christophe Bouchut seals the French F3 title with victory at Le Mans.
Sep 22: The Formula Renault series continues on its controversial way. Championship leaders Bobby Verdon-Roe and Jason Plato are excluded for technical infringements at Brands Hatch.
Sep 22: Martin Schanche wins at Lydden Hill to clinch the European Rallycross Championship. Rival Will Gollop escapes unscathed after crashing his Metro 6R4 heavily.
Sep 22: Piers Hunnisett wins the Formula Vauxhall Lotus race at Snetterton. Second place guarantees Kelvin Burt the championship title.
Sep 23: Bowman Racing surprises the F3 world. The fledgling constructor will run Reynards in the 1992 British championship, whilst continuing to market its own chassis overseas.
Sep 23: Mario Andretti shakes down the new Cosworth XB Indy engine at Road America.
Sep 24: Juha Kankkunen wins the Rally Australia, to keep his championship hopes alive. Series leader Carlos Sainz rolls his Toyota no fewer than three times, the third proving terminal.
Sep 26: The F1 teams get a chance to acclimatise to the new Catalunya circuit, near Barcelona. Gabriele Tarquini replaces the ousted Olivier Grouillard at Fondmetal; Grouillard beats off a horde of optimistic F3000 drivers to assume Tarquini’s former berth at AGS.
Sep 27: Fed up with his lot, Pedro Chaves quits Coloni.
Sep 27: Nigel Mansell twists his ankle playing in a ‘friendly’ football match on the eve of the Spanish GP.
Sep 27: The impressive new John Foulston Centre opens at Brands Hatch, offering media and hospitality facilities.
Sep 28: Brabham announces that it won’t be retaining Mark Blundell’s services for 1992, preferring the wallet full of yen that accompanies Akihiko Nakaya.
Sep 29: The Spanish GP is preceded by an unseemly row during the drivers’ briefing. Nigel Mansell wins the race to keep his championship hopes alive as Ayrton Senna errs on tyre choice and comes home a subdued fifth.
Sep 29: Various national touring car titles are settled in Europe. Roberto Ravaglia does the honours for BMW in Italy, Frank Biela for Audi in Germany.
Sep 29: Colin McRae wins the Barkston Forest Stages Rally, but Trevor Smith and Roger Jones do enough to clinch the Mintex National Championship title.
Sep 30: François Delecour’s rally future is thrown into confusion. Having burnt his bridges with Ford, it now appears that Lancia has no need of his services.
Oct 3: ProSport 3000 is launched at Boreharn. The Ford V6-powered sportscars will participate in a new one-make initiative in 1992. The first customer car is bought by former TVR racer Martin Crass, who will run it for Gerry Marshall.
Oct 4: Karl Wendlinger follows Mercedes Group C colleague Michael Schumacher into F1 . The Austrian is to replace Ivan Capelli at Leyton House for the final two races of the year.
Oct 5: Franz Konrad secures exclusive supply of Lamborghini’s V12 engine for his 1992 Group C programme.
Oct 5: The Irish rally world is stunned by the death of promising young driver Brian McGrath. After retiring early on the Cork 20 Rally, the 23 year-old loses his life in a road accident later that night.
Oct 6: Championship titles are the order of the day. Christian Fittipaldi dominates the European F3000 finale at Nogaro, pipping Alessandro Zanardi to the crown. Emanuele Naspetti can’t keep pace with his rivals, and finishes sixth, while Damon Hill drives a Reynard for the first time and takes third. At Suzuka, Jaguar clinches the SWC teams’ title, despite a second consecutive Peugeot 1-2. At Silverstone, Will Hoy finally grasps the BTCC spoils with a conservative run to fifth place. Tim Harvey wins for the first time this year.
Oct 6: Arie Luyendyk wins the Nazareth CART event, from Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti. Andretti maintains a 12-point advantage over Rahal in the championship.
Oct 6: Jim Richards and Mark Skaife (Nissan GT-R) win the Toohey’s 1000 at Bathurst.
Oct 6: Martin Schanche wins the European Rallycross finale at Estering.
Oct 9: Au revoir, Jean-Marie. Max Mosley is elected to the FISA Presidency by a comfortable margin.
Oct 10: Benetton confirms that Martin Brundle will will join Michael Schumacher on team strength in 1992. Davy Jones is rumoured to be lined up as test driver.
Oct 13: Paul Warwick, killed at Oulton Park in July, wins the British F3000 Championship posthumously. The winner of the first five rounds earlier in the year, Warwick’s title is secured when Fredrik Ekblom can only finish fourth in the final race at Donington. Julian Westwood scores his maiden F3000 win.
Oct 13: Rubens Barrichello clinches the British F3 title at Thruxton. The Brazilian finishes fifth as championship rival David Coulthard crashes out.
Oct 13: Third place in the IMSA finale at Del Mar is enough to wrap up the title for Geoff Brabham, after Nissan team-mate lost his lead when a driveshaft broke. Briton Perry McCarthy was on course for second place, before a brush with a kerb necessitated a pit stop, dropping him to fifth.
Oct 13: Lydden Hill hosts its final circuit meeting in its present form. After the winter rallycross activities (and the opening round of the 1992 European Championship), the bulldozers will move in to lay the foundations for the new McLaren R&D facility, which will house a brand new racetrack.
Oct 14: Björn Waldegard leaves Toyota after 10 years. He is tipped to be joining Lancia. At Ford, meanwhile, François Delecour has kissed and made up. His place in the team looks safe.